Fans cheer on Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball in opening round of NCAA Tournament

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 10:17 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Tech women’s basketball cruised to a 58-33 win over Chattanooga in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Friday night. But the fans piled into Cassell Coliseum more than an hour before tipoff.

“Mostly we get busy with the men’s team, but I’m excited to see fans for the women’s team coming out to support them and seeing support for women in sports,” said Olivia Erim, a grad student at Tech.

It’s no secret, shown through a number one seed in the tournament and countless other accolades this season, that the Lady Hokies have been almost unstoppable.

“Just being able to support and us being workers at the bar and seeing it get a lot more popular has been very exciting,” said Craig Durden, a senior at Tech.

Those who attended the game said the atmosphere was electric.

“The women have definitely been working so hard all five years we’ve been here, so it’s great to see all that hard work finally pay off for them, and it’s just really exciting to have watched their journey for so long,” said McKinley Winans, a cheerleader for Virginia Tech.

“We’ve never had this before, everyone’s coming out, the stadium’s sold out, there’s tons of fans, it’s amazing,” said Joseph Westerlund, a junior at Tech.

It’s clear the fans have high hopes for how far the Lady Hokies will go in this year’s tournament.

“All the way, all the way to Dallas,” said Sierra Bennett, a cheerleader at Virginia Tech.

“Hope they can go on to the Final Four, that’s my prediction,” said Jay Noonkester, a former Blacksburg resident who drove up from South Carolina.

“All the way, dub it, Go Hokies,” said a group of fans.

The Lady Hokies will play again in Blacksburg Sunday against South Dakota State.